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Bryant v. Dickerson

Supreme Court of Mississippi, En Banc

November 16, 2017

BARRY BRYANT
v.
GLORIA DICKERSON

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/14/2016

         SUNFLOWER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. L. BRELAND HILBURN TRIAL JUDGE

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: MARK W. GARRIGA TOM P. CALHOUN, III

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JAMIE FERGUSON JACKS

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: TOM P. CALHOUN, III

          COLEMAN, JUSTICE.

         ¶1. Following a narrow loss to Gloria Dickerson in the Sunflower County Board of Supervisor's Democratic Primary election, Barry Bryant filed a Petition to Contest Qualifications of Gloria Dickerson as Nominee for Supervisor. Specifically, Bryant claimed that Dickerson was not a resident of Sunflower County. In the Sunflower County Circuit Court, Senior Status Judge Breland Hilburn heard the contest and found in favor of Dickerson. Bryant now appeals the circuit court's decision. We affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. On February 3, 2015, Dickerson submitted her Qualifying Statement of Intent to run in the Democratic Primary for the Board of Supervisors, Fifth District, in Sunflower County. Dickerson listed her mailing and street address as "166 Broadway, Drew, MS 38737[.]" Bryant, the incumbent, also qualified for the primary. By a narrow margin, Dickerson defeated Bryant in the primary election held on August 4, 2015.

         ¶3. On August 20, 2015, Bryant submitted a Petition to Contest Qualifications "pursuant to Miss[issisppi] Code Ann[otated section] 23-15-921" to the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party in Sunflower County. Then, on August 27, 2015, Bryant "in accordance with Miss[issippi] Code Ann[otated section] 23-15-927[, ]" filed his Petition to Contest Qualifications of Gloria Dickerson as Nominee for Supervisor with the circuit court. The sole basis for Bryant's challenge is his claim that Dickerson "was not a domiciled resident of Sunflower County nor did she provide absolute proof that she would be a domiciled resident of Sunflower County prior to the [general] election." Bryant provided the following facts as proof that Dickerson was, in fact, a resident of Hinds County at the time she filed her qualifying papers:

Since 1985, Dickerson and her husband have jointly owned a home in Jackson, Mississippi.
The recent homestead exemption application shows the Jackson home as the primary home.
Dickerson and her husband have Hinds County license plates on ...

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